The University of Arizona chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, for the second year in a row, has won the Outstanding Leadership Development Award from the national organization.
The UA chapter beat more than 300 others for the award, which was presented at the 2016 SHPE national conference in Seattle Nov. 2 through 6. A record 49 UA students attended.
“The conference this year was everything that we expected and more,” said Fernando Lopez, the chapter’s executive vice president and a senior in chemical engineering. “At the career fair we networked with countless engineering companies, and some of us landed interviews for internships and full-time positions.”
Individual Wildcats, as in past years, also excelled. Three engineering students -- Carissa Grijalva, Adriana Barreda and Marisa Gonzalez -- were selected to present research at the conference, and Grijalva, a senior in biomedical engineering, won the best paper award for her research on an aerosol drug delivery device for people with pulmonary disease.
Sophomore Rigoberto Avila’s team won third place at the Nissan Design Competition, a three-day event requiring teams to design autonomous vehicles. And Dawn Binder, a senior in systems engineering, was chosen to compete in the 24-hour Extreme Engineering Competition.
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers was founded in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles and is the nation’s top organization working to help Hispanics pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. The UA SHPE chapter was founded in 1984.
SHPE holds three major outreach events annually. La Familia is a free, daylong computer-training program for local residents of all ages. Science Day brings hundreds of Tucson-area middle schools students to the UA campus for fun, hands-on science projects that spark their interest in science and engineering. The Advancement of Latinos in Engineering/Young Latina Forum promotes STEM education for local high school students.